Program Goals for Elementary English
A biblical worldview is one that is based on the authority of the Bible. BJU Press provides biblically based materials with instructions to guide Christian-worldview shaping. The Christian worldview is best expressed in the biblical story seen in God’s Word of Creation, the Fall, and Redemption. Taking these three events as the lenses through which to look at education, we see that faith and learning are bound inextricably together and that Christian faith must govern the educational experiences.
In Genesis 1, we read about the beginning of all language. God spoke and created all things. Throughout the Old Testament we read about the words God spoke to man and their responses to God. God enabled men to write their words on tablets, giving us a written language. Then God chose to preserve this word and acts by inspiring men to write the Bible. We still communicate with others through language—both written and verbal. The Bible is God’s written communication to us, and prayer is our verbal communication to God.
“The Bible is God’s written communication to us, and prayer is our verbal communication to God.”
How Can We Use English to Glorify God?
The study of English can serve the purpose of Christian education—to conform man to the image of God—because the subject matter is used to reflect the character and words of God. English is a tool for achieving God’s purpose for us in the world. Loving God and loving our neighbor are God’s design for us (Matt. 23:34–40). Good writing that exemplifies good grammar is a way to show our love for God by communicating truth in a loving way to our neighbor. Clear writing can, for example, make a personal letter more meaningful, a newspaper article more persuasive, and a play more memorable.
The BJU Press English program lays the foundation for a student to become an effective communicator. With the use of correct grammar and accurate writing, a student can share the Gospel in a letter or a story, write a Christian book review, or compose a poem that communicates God’s faithfulness. A student can also apply the rules of grammar to his speaking in order to share God’s Word verbally and to edify and encourage friends. Students will gain the skills needed to use language as a tool to show love to God and to serve others.
Academic Rigor & Critical Thinking
“Each year the concepts are expanded, building depths of knowledge and understanding.”
In Grade 1, students master skills necessary for success in reading. Emphasis is placed on phonemic awareness, reading, and beginning spelling skills. The three student texts for this study include Phonics and English, Reading, and Spelling. Students are also introduced to grammar that is integrated into the reading instruction. Short writing segments form the foundation for implementing the writing process.
Grammar instruction for Grades 2–6 follows a sequential, well-developed, and challenging scope and sequence. Students are taught one part of speech at a time with systematic reviews and ample practice opportunities. It is not enough that students merely memorize linking verbs or a list of prepositions. Students must also activate critical-thinking skills to diagram sentences as they analyze the structure of a sentence and its components. Lower grades introduce concepts that are mastered in upper grades. Each year the concepts are expanded, building depths of knowledge and understanding.Discovery learning is implemented as the materials appeal to the student’s natural curiosity.
Chapters alternate between grammar and writing providing time and opportunity for solidifying and applying the concepts. Students learn sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation, and capitalization. They incorporate higher-level thinking skills while choosing the correct verb form and tense, punctuation, and transition words as they apply their knowledge of grammar to spoken and written communication.
The development of writing skills is important to becoming good communicators. Students are guided step-by-step through the writing process as they write reports, stories, descriptions, poems, letters, and essays. Most writing projects include the use of a graphic organizer and a model to follow for proper implementation.
BJU Press Elementary English uses a five-step writing process that includes:
- Planning:Getting ready to Write
- Drafting:Writing ideas in sentence form
- Revising:Improving writing
- Proofreading:Finding and correcting mistakes in writing
- Publishing:Sharing writing with someone
“One of the goals of the English program is to show elementary-age students how they can honor God by correctly using His gift of language.”
Joy of Learning
The BJU Press English program includes colorful worktexts and interesting themes and activities. Age-appropriate skills are presented in a sequential way that makes learning meaningful and enjoyable. One of the goals of the English program is to show elementary-age students how they can honor God by correctly using His gift of language. Our desire is that students find joy in expressing themselves creatively.
Writing projects are relevant and engaging. Chapters are introduced with literature links that connect literature and writing. Lessons are structured to give students clear tasks to accomplish. After students choose an appropriate topic, they complete a prewriting activity to generate interest and to help them plan their writing project. Peer conferences allow students to collaborate and receive feedback from others.
Many grammar lessons are introduced with listening and speaking activities that engage the students. Chapter themes, such as museums, sports, science, and travel, enhance learning by linking the grammar topics with real-life information. Colorful artwork and photos make the student text appealing to use. The Apply and Write feature at the end of most grammar lessons gives students the opportunity to apply and practice new skills.
BJU Press English takes an interactive approach to learning. Group and “pair-share” activities help students review content in a way that is enjoyable and interesting. Class discussions provide a way for students to learn from one another as they work through the lessons.